Dirty Roots: Southern Hip-Hop Part I -- The 12" Era (1979-1983)

Posted by Eric Brightwell, February 16, 2015 07:21pm | Post a Comment

As far as my ears can tell, pretty near every rapper from Inglewood to Plumstead nowadays owes more than a little something to the rise of the Dirty South sound that pretty much took over hip-hop in the late 1990s. As anyone with more than a passing familiarity with the genre knows, however, southern hip-hop was for many years primarily a regional concern. In the 1970s the hip-hop scene was firmly centered in the Northeast. In the early 1980s it made its way to the West Coast but as far as mainstream audiences were concerned, skipped the third and fourth coasts. In the 1990s, many casual fans and scholars alike will tell you, there was a war between the East and West Coasts during some Southern upstarts crashed the party and, despite the efforts of the backpack Taliban, restored a sense of fun to a genre which had increasingly grown joyless and conservative. 

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Malcolm X Home Firebombed On This Day 50 Years Ago

Posted by Billyjam, February 14, 2015 07:21pm | Post a Comment

In the early morning hours of this date fifty years ago -  February 14, 1965 -  Malcolm X's New York home was firebombed with him, his pregnant wife, and four young daughters in the home at the time. The African American civil rights leader and his family managed to get out of the building safely. And later that same day he would travel to Detroit to make a speech in which he would address the house bombing "by the black Muslim movement upon the orders of Elijah Muhammad" according to Malcolm X (see video of speech below). However exactly a week later, after his return to New York, on February 21st, 1965 he would be assassinated at the age of 40.


Black Hillbilly - or - What you really know about the Upper South?

Posted by Eric Brightwell, February 9, 2015 09:08am | Post a Comment
The first non-Native American settlers of Appalachia and later, the Ozarks, were of primarily of three ethnicities: Scots-Irish, English, and German. These hard-working farmers and craftsmen created a distinct culture which in the 19th Century came to be named “hillbilly.” Although the Northern European roots of hillbilly are routinely acknowledged, even scholars on the culture are far less likely to recognize hillbilly’s other significant place of ancestral origin, West Africa.

19th century black music ensemble

Hillbilly music’s biracial parentage should be immediately evident to anyone with any knowledge of the music’s primary instruments, the fiddle and the banjo. The modern fiddle (or violin) may have originated in 16th Century Italy but similar bowed instruments preceded its development by several centuries and the violin made its way to the Americas thanks to English colonists. The banjo, descended from the numerous plucked instruments of West Africa such as the akonting, ngoni, and xalam, was introduced to the Americas by African slaves.

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5% Nation Hip-Hop Group Brand Nubian

Posted by Billyjam, February 5, 2015 10:55am | Post a Comment
Back in the late eighties / early nineties at the peak of the so-called Afro-centric movement within hip-hop many groups embraced the teachings of the 5% Nation (aka Five Percenters, and the Nation of Gods and Earths) which is the half-century old political organization founded by former Nation of Islam member Clarence "13X" Edward Smith (aka Allah the Father) who was a former student of Malcolm X. Of all these hip-hop groups associated with the Five Percenters the best known was Brand Nubian who consistently espoused the teachings of the Five Percent Nation in their music. These songs included "All For One" which was the title track off the New Rochelle, NY crew's stellar debut album - one that remains a hip-hop classic to this day. However the track caused a good deal of controversy  around the time of its release because the group -- originally made up of emcees Grand Puba, Sadat X, and Lord Jamar along with DJ Alamo --  were outspoken and true to their political beliefs from day one; proudly and unapologetically using their recordings and concerts  as a platform to display both their Islamic faith and the teachings of The 5% Nation.

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Black History Month In The Bay Area

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 29, 2015 09:05pm | Post a Comment


In honor of Black History Month, the Amoeblog is proud to provide this sampling of Bay Area events that are not to be missed. Watch this space for new additions.

Sunday, 2/1/2015, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Racism and all that Jazz

Like Traditional Negro Spirituals and the Blues, Jazz evolved in the United States to survive the horrors of racism. Join Renaissance woman Phavia Kujichagulia (Griot, educator, & activist) on this journey into Jazz from Africa to America. She has performed and lectured extensively throughout the continental USA, the Caribbean, and England.
Koret Auditorium
Main Library
100 Larkin St.
San Francisco

Friday, 2/6/2015, 12:00pm -1:00pm
2015 Black History Month Kickoff : A Century of Black Life, History and Culture in San Francisco

Presented by San Francisco African American Historical & Cultural Society (celebrating its 60th anniversary).
City Hall Rotunda
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco

Wednesday, 2/112015, 6:00pm - 7:30pm
African American Oakland: An Historical Overview

In this overview, Oakland History Room librarian Dorothy Lazard will share key and little-known stories of the social, cultural, economic and political contributions of African Americans in Oakland.
Main Library
Oakland History Room
125 14th Street

Friday, 2/13/2015, 7:00pm - 10:00pm
A Love Supreme

Join KQED, Impact Hub Oakland, and #1World1Family for a special evening celebrating Black History Month and the 50th anniversary of John Coltrane's album A Love Supreme with a night of film, music, performance, and conversation.
Jazz by the Angela Wellman Quartet
Spoken-word performance by Sonya Renee Taylor
Film Screening: Through a Lens Darkly
Join filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris with Rev. Dereca Blackmon, curator, Ashara Ekundayo and writer, Marvin K. White in conversation on radical love, spiritual practice, and next generation movement building such as the use of technology in the design of #BlackLivesMatter.
Impact Hub Oakland
2323 Broadway
RSVP required

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